Around 2:30 a.m., Sampson County authorities responded to an altercation that broke out during a private party at 555 Country Club Road.
“We just got unlucky last night and we’re going to do everything we can to make sure that it doesn’t happen again,” said the club’s director, Curt Pritchard.
According to the Sampson County Sheriff’s Office, deputies discovered several groups fighting upon their arrival and attempted to break up the fights. One deputy received minor injuries when his arm was cut with broken glass during the fight, and a deputy’s vehicle was struck by people trying to leave the scene.
Three people were shot, one person was stabbed and two people were beaten during the fights. The victims were transported to Sampson Regional Medical Center and Cape Fear Valley Hospital with severe injuries.
“You had close to a hundred people here. You had alcohol involved, which is always a recipe for disaster when you have that many people and alcohol involved,” said Captain Eric Pope with the Sampson County Sheriff’s Office.
According to officials, one victim, Anthony King of Roseboro, died shortly after noon from injuries he sustained in the fights. Other victims have been identified as Star Royal of Roseboro, Mary Denise Rich of Huntington, NY and Daniel Cleveland Cooper of Salemburg.
The surviving victims are recovering from physical assault injuries including severe head trauma, stab wounds and gunshot wounds.
One of the club’s board members, Jerry Faircloth, lives within sight of the Lakewood County Club clubhouse and said there could now be changed to the club’s rental policies.
Faircloth said he heard about a dozen gunshots and a lot of screaming during the incident. He said the club has not had problems with parties in the past, but “we’ll be more careful about who we rent the clubhouse to” going forward.
“We’re proud of this place and we’re going to continue to put our stamp on it as a safe environment and family oriented,” Pritchard said.
The investigation is ongoing. No information on the suspects in the incident was released, but Pritchard said deputies have spoken to persons of interest.